Electric scooter and bike-sharing company Bird Canada has completed its merger with its Miami-based, international counterpart Bird Global as the latter faces financial struggles.
“These markets will add new profitable operations and further consolidate Bird’s leadership in North American micromobility.”
Bird Global initially announced its merger with Bird Canada in December 2022, describing its Canadian counterpart as its “most successful platform partner.” For its part, Bird Global, faced several challenges in the last year.
In its announcement in December, Bird Global said it was expecting to receive $32 million USD as part of the merger. The company announced this week that it closed the deal with $30 million in cash financing for Bird Global that includes a $2 million personal investment by Travis VanderZanden, Bird Global’s founder, and a separate investment by Shane Torchiana, Bird Global’s CEO. Bird Global said it intends to increase the size of this fundraise and to close additional financing this quarter.
Within 2022, Bird exited multiple markets in Europe and the United States, announced it had overstated its revenue for more than two years, and received a warning from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that its share price had been trading below the minimum bid price.
By November 2022, these series of unfortunate events had caught onto Bird Global, which said that if it couldn’t raise more money, it would “need to scale back or discontinue certain or all of its operations in order to reduce costs or seek bankruptcy protection” in a regulatory filing.
In its goal to bolster its balance sheets, Bird Global is acquiring Bird Canada’s micromobility (bicycles and scooters) operations, which is expected to be integrated into Bird Global this quarter.
“These markets will add new profitable operations and further consolidate Bird’s leadership in North American micromobility,” Bird Global said.
Bird Canada, which is anchored in Toronto, was created as a separate entity from Bird Global, but licensed and used its software and name. Bird Canada was created by Toronto Raptors founder John Bitove in 2019. It operates scooters and bikes in 10 cities across Canada, including Ottawa, Windsor, Red Deer, and Okotoks.
Though it used Bird Global’s license, Bird Canada is independently-owned. Bird Canada will establish a new Canadian management roster at Bird Global that includes the appointment of a former SiriusXM Canada CFO Michael Washinushi as Bird Global’s chief financial officer.
John Bitove will join the Miami entity as a member of its board, alongside Relay Ventures managing partner and Bird Canada co-founder Kevin Talbot, as well as MacKinnon Bennett managing partner Antonio Occhionero. Relay Ventures has invested in Bird Global and Bird Canada, while MKB invested in Bird Canada.
Stewart Lyons, Bird Canada’s CEO, will join Bird Global as president. JJ Bitove, Bird Canada’s CFO, will join Bird Global as vice president of corporate development and strategy.
Founded in 2017 by VanderZanden, who’s been an executive at Lyft and Uber, Bird Global claims to have facilitated over 175 million rides on its vehicles through its ride-sharing business.
Bird Global went public on the NYSE in November 2021 via a SPAC deal, closing its first day on the market with a share price of $8.40 USD. Since then, Bird Global’s stock has declined by over 97 percent, trading at $0.22 USD at press time.